What Does the Color of Your Gums Say About Your Oral Health?

woman wearing a red dress looks in a handheld mirror to inspect the health of her gums

Your gums support your teeth, keeping them anchored in your mouth. Gum health is just as important as the health of your teeth. When your gums aren’t healthy, you can develop gum disease, which leads to tooth and bone loss if untreated. What does your gum color say about your health?

Pink Gums

When your gums are healthy, they are light pink and firm to the touch. They don’t bleed when you floss or brush. You can maintain healthy gums by brushing at least twice a day, flossing once a day, and visiting the dentist every six months.

Red Gums

If your gums darken from pink to red, that’s a sign of inflammation. This discoloration usually points to gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. The redness often starts in one part of your mouth. As the disease progresses, the redness spreads to the rest of your gums. Your gums might also look swollen and feel tender. Treatments like laser therapy, scaling and root planing, and topical gum treatment can reverse the disease.

White Gums

Are your gums paler than normal or colored with white patches? Pale gums are a sign of a few different issues, including poor oral hygiene, anemia, or menopause. White patches that can’t be removed are also caused by leukoplakia, a condition that’s usually harmless but in rare cases can turn into cancer. We’re not sure why leukoplakia occurs, but it often shows up in people who smoke or drink excessively.

Protect Your Gum Health at Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry in Jackson, Tennessee

If your gums are any color other than pink, it’s a good idea to come in for a visit with Dr. Patel. We can diagnose the problem and start addressing it. Have questions about our services or want to book an appointment? Contact us today!

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